Hotel bars vary in design but are all similar in service, and minibars tend to provide the same options across the board. Combining external bar operations and in-room minibar experiences is the Cocktail Box Co., which produces a line of tins providing the ingredients and tools to construct a cocktail—alcohol not included. Co-founder of the Cocktail Box Co., Derek Saito, sees hotels as the “perfect fit” for this product, especially in the boutique and independent sectors.
Minibars provide alcohol, but Saito says, “People don’t typically like to pour a shot and drink it. They prefer a nice drink that they can sip while watching a movie or relaxing after a long business meeting. They want something that’s easy and convenient. We’ve taken the leg work out and made it a simple process. And if that customer can just grab a kit, a bottle of vodka, and some ice from the vending machine, they can make a really killer drink.”
The Cocktail Box Co.’s first—and most popular—product is its Old Fashioned Box, which includes the edible ingredients, a bartender’s spoon, a muddler, cocktail picks, and a knit napkin. The Old Fashioned Box, as well as the Champagne Cocktail Box, make up to six drinks each, while the Moscow Mule Box and the Gin & Tonic Box make up to three beverages each. Hotel guests can purchase the product, purchase a bottle of alcohol from the minibar, and have a hotel bar experience from the comfort of their room.
And Saito believes this product fits into the boutique and independent hotel sectors. He says, “It would do well in a boutique hotel because it’s edgy and different. Any hotels that are trying a different approach to service would like this product. Hotels that serve food can have this different cocktail that goes with the hotel’s general experience. It would do well in larger brands and hotels, but boutiques are a natural fit.”
Kits can be customized, too. For hotels that have many weddings, corporate meetings, and other events, the tin’s outer sleeve is customizable.
Currently, the boxes are generally purchased as gifts through the United States and Canada, but Saito plans to break into hotels by 2020. “That’s the focus now and is one of our key goals for the end of this year and the beginning of 2020,” he says. “Not only can it boost margins for hotels and lodging accommodations, it gives the customer a great experience, too.”